Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, CA, near Palo Alto. Founded in 1891, Stanford’s nearly unmatched selectivity and prestige make it a sunnier alternative to its older Ivy League cousins on the East Coast. Stanford’s proximity to Silicon Valley gives its student body an entrepreneurial bent; the most popular course of study is computer science, followed by biology and engineering. Stanford is a major hub for research, with more than 6,000 externally sponsored projects and a $1.6 billion research budget in the 2017-18 academic year. Students at Stanford, most of whom live on the school’s picturesque 8,180-acre campus, also enjoy a rich extracurricular life, with more than 600 registered student organizations, including Greek life. Notable past students make up a virtual directory of Silicon Valley A-listers including billionaires Elon Musk, Laurene Powell Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Reed Hastings, Peter Thiel, and Evan Spiegel, in addition to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.